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Supreme Memorials
We would like to thank
SUPREME MEMORIALS
610 4th Avenue
Brooklyn NY
(718) 788-7986
For inscribing the 5 Stone Markers for the Other Victims of the Nazi Era at their own expense.
They truly went the extra mile to see this project come to fruition.

THE NYC HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL PARK IS NOW INCLUSIVE AND MEMORIALIZES AND EDUCATES THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE LIVES OF THE OTHER VICTIMS OF THE NAZI ERA...May 5, 2013


HISTORY OF THE PROJECT

The NYC Holocaust Memorial Park was created under the Koch Administration. The original plan, which was developed by Parks Department employee George Vellanokis, included stone markers for the Other Victims of the Nazi era. The plans were submitted and approved by the Arts Commission before the Park was even built. But due to political pressure these stone markers were never inscribed. It should be noted that this a New York City owned park, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks's Commissioner and the Mayor. It is maintained by the Parks Department and is not privately owned by the Holocaust Committee.

The Holocaust Memorial Committee has a Memorandum of Understanding with the limited scope to approve names and text for future stones. Starting in the 1990's the Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors began applying to the local Holocaust Committee to have these markers inscribed. Each year for over a decade the request was denied, usually without any explanation. After the Committee denied the application again around 2008-9, we asked the City for an appeals process.

A Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel of notable members from Holocaust related museums was created to ensure that the decisions from the Committee were not being arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious. The final decision-making power always remained with the Parks Commissioner and Mayor and the laws of New York; and not the local community group.

In 2010, the last request was approved and the Permit for the inscriptions was granted, and then demonstrations were conducted by a segment of the Orthodox Community in opposition to these stone markers. Our desire was not to have a political fight, so we quietly proceeded while trying to explain our educational and memorial goal. A meeting was even held with one of the more outspoken political figures in the opposition.

The inscriptions were cut in stone on July 25, 2012 and we received an email from Mayor Koch congratulating us. An intimate Unveiling Ceremony was conducted on May 5, 2013, where representatives of each stone marker were there to unveil the stones. Scroll down to see more about the Unveiling.

NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Photo of the demonstrators. Most of the talk was in Russian so I didn't understand much of the criticism.


Ari Kagan, a local politician seemed to be the main protester of our Unveiling Ceremony. I think he felt that the local Committee should have the final say over the Parks Commissioner, the Mayor, the laws of the City and State of New York, the NYS Constitution and the Court decisions. In addition Community Board 15 and all local elected officials approved the concept years ago. The MOU gives the local Committee the limited scope to inscribe text for stones, but they are still bound by the Municipal government that gave them these limited powers. I am suspect as to the real reason for these protests over the years.

The Holocaust Memorial Park is dedicated to all of the victims of the Nazi era, so why should they be able to prevent a miniscule amount of stones to tell the story of these victims in a public park? And paraphrasing Hillel, if we only care about our suffering and don't care about telling the whole story; what kind of people are we? Now others can come to this Park and learn about the Holocaust and how the Nazis started out by dehumanizing the other victims along with the Jews; turning a civilized country into a murdering machine. The Final Solution didn't happen over night.

No one ever contacted me since the Permit was granted in 2010. No one ever contacted me after the stones were inscribed in July 2012, or when we took out the Permit for the Unveiling Ceremony in February 2013. We did everything openly and legally with permits obtained from the city. I also contacted the Community Board and 61st Precinct too. So I am not sure what this protest is about. We paid for a Special Events Permit to be there and they didn't have any permit. Any event in a city park with more than 20 people, even a Press Conference, requires a Parks permit. They should have been more respectful and moved out of the Park and over to the sidewalk. When I approached them and asked if I could answer any questions, they told me it wasn't a debate and I should leave.

Along with this small protest, a few people walked by or rode by on a bicycle showing their disrespect by shouting out anti-gay and anti-Obama slogans at us. I wonder if they would have been so emboldened if the other protesters weren't there?

SO WHAT IS NEXT ON OUR WISH LIST? We will explore having another stone marker inscribed to memorialize and tell the story of the life a Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. His story was originally supposed to go on one of the other stone markers. But due to the fact that all of the larger stones were used up by the Committee, the text had to be reduced. So we will explore the procedure to have a new stone inscribed explaining how this Jewish man started the Institute of Sexual Sciences which the Nazis destroyed in May 1933 and burned its contents in the famous Berlin student bonfires. Also how he fought to repeal Paragraph 175 (Sodomy Laws) and accomplished it through the Law Committee in the Reichstag, just as the Nazis came to power.

We will also seek to help the Voice of Roma to update their stone marker.

Scroll down this site to see photos and read about the Unveiling Ceremony and the entire history back to 1996.
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Group photo of the participants
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Rick Landman addressing the participants
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Robert Wagemann, a Jehovah Witness and T-4 Survivor addresses the participants
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Petra Gelbart of Roma Voice addresses the participants
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Edith Prentiss of Disabilities Network and Carr Massi of DIA addressing the participants
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Petra Gelbart and others from Roma Voice reading the text (which should be modified in the future).
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Rick Landman reading the text and unveiling the marker
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Father Glenn Chalmers of Holy Apostles and Sam Webb of the Communist Party reading the text
NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay Unveiling Ceremony
Edith Prentiss and Carr Massi reading the text

Click Here to Read an article from
Sheepshead Bites on this subject,
by Ned Berke with more photos.


Voices of NY article

More articles

May 9, 2013 Letter to the Holocaust Committee from Rick Landman
to ask for a dialogue and discuss future projects.

Wide View THE "UNVEILING CEREMONY"

FOR THE OTHER VICTIMS OF THE NAZI ERA
WAS HELD ON

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013 AT 3 pm.

at the NYC HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL PARK AT SHEEPSHEAD BAY.
LOCATED AT EMMONS AVENUE & SHORE BOULEVARD

This Ceremony was an intimate program where each of the 5 stone Memorial Markers was unveiled by a representative from each group who read the text on the marker. There was also a short talk on the history of the project, followed by a tour through the Holocaust Memorial Park.
On street parking available near by.

Sheepshead


The list of Participating or Sponsoring Groups


THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE UNVEILED THE FIVE MARKERS FOR THE OTHER VICTIMS

  • DISABLED COMMUNITY by: Edith Prentiss of Disabilities Network of NYC, and Carr Massi & Connie Lesold of Disabled in Action
  • (GYPSY) ROMA & SINTI COMMUNITY by: Petra Gelbart of Voice of Roma
  • HOMELESS - COMMUNISTS - ASOCIALS by: Father Glenn Chalmers of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and Sam Webb, National Chairperson of the Communist Party USA
  • HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY by: Members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and Lambda Independent Democrats
  • JEHOVAH WITNESSES by: Robert Wagemann, camp survivor and survivor of the "T-4 Euthanasia Program".

    May 2013 was also the 80th Anniversary of the destruction of
    Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute of Sexual Science, and the related Berlin Students' Book Burning Bonfires.


    If you have any questions, you can email us by clicking here.

    map of NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay
    Map of NYC Holocaust Memorial Park at Sheepshead Bay.
    Closest Subway stop is Sheepshead Bay on the "B" or "Q" lines.
    It is about a 10-15 minute walk from the subway to the Park.


    The following are photos of the 5 Stone Markers and some pictures of the Memorial Park and of the workers who helped complete this project.

    Sign
    NYC's Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park Sign

    Rick Landman standing next to the Homosexual Marker
    Rick Landman standing next to the Homosexual Marker

    Statue
    Central Statue of the Park which includes that the Memorial is dedicated to all the other victims too

    Wide View
    Wide view of many of the hundreds of other markers

    Supreme Memorial staff
    Supreme Memorial Staff volunteering their efforts to complete this project

    Staff at work
    Showing how the staff inscribed the stone markers

    Homosexual Marker
    Marker Dedicated to the Homosexual Victims

    Roma Marker
    Marker Dedicated to the Gypsies, Roma, Sinti Communities

    Disabled Marker
    Marker Dedicated to the Disabled Community

    Jehovah's Witness Marker
    Marker Dedicated to the Jehovah Witnesses

    Political Marker
    Marker Dedicated to the A-Socials (Homeless) and Political Victims



    THE CITY OF NEW YORK ISSUED A PERMIT FOR THE INSCRIPTION OF THE 5 STONE MARKERS IN 2010 REMEMBERING THE OTHER VICTIMS OF THE NAZI ERA AT THE CITY'S SHEEPSHEAD BAY HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL PARK WHICH WERE FINALLY INSCRIBED ON JULY 25, 2012. @ Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard

    In 1996, The International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors, and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah were the applicants requesting that 5 stone Markers be inscribed telling what happened to the Other Victims of the Nazi era. The stone markers for the Other Victims were part of the originally approved concept for the Holocaust Memorial Park in the early 1990's, but were never inscribed at the time. Actually, ten stones were reserved and ten texts were submitted to the Arts Commission for the Other Victims. We consolidated a few into the 5 markers. But if other groups want their stories told, they should contact the Holocaust Memorial Committee.

    The main Memorial in the center states that the Park is dedicated to "the 5 million other innocent human beings who were also murdered under German rule during World War II". So finally, their stories will be explained and a deeper understanding of our history will be told. Year after year our application was denied by the local Committee; but the application was finally approved by the NYC in 2010. Many people didn't realize that this is actually city owned land and not privately owned property.

    In 2010, there were some demonstrations by a few vocal groups still objecting to inscriptions (see articles below). But today we finally completed this City Memorial that was always dedicated to all of the Victims of the Nazi era by expanding the information of what happened from 1933-1945.

    We thank Frank, Joe and Michael Cassara (and Jack Desilets) of Supreme Memorials, who at their expense, inscribed all five markers in the Holocaust Memorial Park.
    "As one of the applicants to memorialize the Other Victims, I feel we increased the educational component of this City Memorial, while learning an important lesson from the Holocaust. Namely, others who was murdered by the Nazis have a right to be remembered, memorialized with their stories being told.

    The full extent of the Nazi atrocities can only be seen by viewing how their ideology of dehumanizing and killing many others furthered their ability to try to exterminate all the Jews. First they killed or arrested political opponents, the disabled and homosexuals etc. years before they perfected their the Final Solution. "
    7/25/2012

    Rick Landman, Co-chair of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors.



    "It's important that we remember everyone who was murdered by the Nazis. No only did the Nazis slaughter millions of Jews, they persecuted gays and lesbians, disabled people, political prisoners, Gypsies and other minority groups. In the Nazi era, discrimination led to the death of millions; we must fight discrimination in all forms so that this doesn’t happen to a minority group ever again."

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, CBST, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah


    LEGAL STATUS AND HISTORY
    Even though the local Committee was given a Memorandum of Understanding to be able to follow guidelines for the inscription of names on the stone markers; the ultimate decision making powers always remained with the Mayor (or Park Commissioner). The City Charter does not allow the ultimate decision-making to be delegated to the local community group. Remember, the Holocaust Memorial Park is a city owned park; not privately owned property. So after the local Committee rejected the request for the inscriptions for the Other Victims for years, the City created an appeal process. A Blue Ribbon Panel was created from representatives of Holocaust Museums etc., and they reviewed the application and approved it. The final approval came from the Parks Commissioner and Mayor.


    Please scroll down the page to read about the 16 year history of this endeavor,
    including the newspapers articles, requests and applications, and approved text for each of the 5 Markers.

    As of April 11, 2010

    Lambda Independent Democrats On April 11, 2010, the Lambda Independent Democrats: Brooklyn's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Political Club is holding their 32nd Anniversary Luncheon and the Brooklyn Lambda Award was given for the efforts to complete the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park by including the inscriptions for the stone markers for the Other Victims of the Nazi era.
    As of March 8, 2010

    I have just received a phone call from the Department of Parks, informing me that all of the texts for the 5 stone Markers have now been approved.
    As of February 23, 2010

    We now have the FINAL Text which will fit on the stone marker to memorialize the homosexual community (the others were approved last year and are further down the page) and it is now being reviewed for the last time and then a permit for the inscriptions will be processed. The final text is:
    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY

    AFTER THE NAZIS SEIZED POWER IN 1933, THE PERSECUTION OF HOMOSEXUALS INTENSIFIED IN GERMANY. IN 1935, THE LAW THAT IN 1871 CRIMINALIZED HOMOSEXUAL ACTS (PENAL CODE PARAGRAPH 175) WAS EXPANDED. IN 1936 THE POLICE TASK FORCE TO COMBAT HOMOSEXUALITY AND ABORTION WAS FORMED.

    AROUND 50,000 MEN WERE CONVICTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175. THOUSANDS OF MALE HOMOSEXUALS WERE INCARCERATED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS, WHERE MANY DIED, VICTIMS OF HARSH CONDITIONS, HARD LABOR, MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION, BEATINGS OR MURDER. SOME HAD TO WEAR PINK TRIANGLES FOR IDENTIFICATION.

    AFTER THE WAR, HOMOSEXUALS CONTINUED TO BE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175 UNTIL ITS REPEAL IN 1969.


    Scroll down to see the whole history over the years. Photos are also available at the bottom of the page. The texts for the other victims were already approved and are contained below.
    To the Editor of the Forward:

    This is a city owned park (not a private Jewish park) dedicated to the 6 million Jews and the other 5 million innocent victims. All we have been trying to do for 13 years to do give more details of what happened to the other victims of the Nazi ers. Not to equate them; but one must see how a civilized country like Germany evolved into a murderous killing machine by first starting with groups such as the disabled and homosexuals and political opponents and then reached the point where they arrested my father and grandfather and sent them to Dachau on Kristallnacht. 17 members of my family perished in the Holocaust. But I am also gay and want the entire history of the era to be studied and show how discrimination can lead to death. "Never Again" is true for all of the victims!

    I think that the entire city will gain from our Park when more history is there for people to read. You will read about the comparative numbers of victims, and how their treatments differed. But all should be memorialized.

    We must remember the past and learn how to make sure it doesn't repeat. I hope to see everyone at the unveiling of the new markers and thank Supreme Memorials for donating the inscribing. The City is not paying the inscriptions.

    Rick Landman, June 10, 2009
    Co-chair of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors
    www.infotrue.com
    To the Editor of the Daily News:
    I supported the Holocaust Memorial Park from the onset, but was saddened when the Committee refused to inscribe the stone markers telling what happened to the other victims of the Nazi era. For 13 years my association requested that all of the other victim groups be memorialized. Remember the city owned Park was dedicated to them in addition to the 6 million Jews. I am not equating the groups, but believe that one needs to learn what happened to these groups in order to fully understand how a civilized country like Germany became a mass murdering machine. My own family lost 17 members during the Holocaust. We are now thankful to the Mayor that the full history will be told and all innocent victims will be memorialized. We also thank Supreme Memorials for their gracious donation of doing the inscribing pro bono. Rick Landman
    June 9, 2009
    Co-Chair of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors

    To the Editor of the New York Post:
    "Our objective is to complete the original plan for the Holocaust Memorial Park by including these markers. One needs to learn how a civilized country like Germany developed into a murderous killing machine, by first starting out with persecuting and killing the other victims while planning the Holocaust. We are not equating the sufferings of any group and believe strongly in highlighting the extermination attempts towards the Jews. My own family lost 17 members and my grandma and grandpa were sole survivors (losing their siblings and parents and cousins). All of the victims of the Nazi era should have their stories told and their lives memorialized in this city owned public park. Paraphrasing Hillel, as Jews we must memorialize the 6 million who were murdered and fight genocide, but if we only focus on that part of history, what kind of people are we? We must study how the Holocaust came to be, and memorialized all those who were murdered." Rick Landman, June 5, 2009.
    "I am so excited that everyone is finally working together on adding to the educational and memorial aspects of the city owned Holocaust Memorial Park, by telling the story of what happened to the other victims of the Nazi Era. I look forward to the unveiling of the various stone markers."May 6, 2009
    Rick Landman, International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors. Click Here For Email Contact
    stone
    My father standing by the Dachau historical marker. He was interned in Dachau with his father on the day after Kristallnacht. 17 members of his family perished in the Holocaust. After coming to America, he joined the US Army and was at the liberation of Dachau and was the first American soldier to enter his hometown of Augsburg. More is available at www.infotrue.com.



    May 6, 2009

    Ms. Pauline Bilus
    Holocaust Memorial Committee
    60 West End Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11235

    Dear Pauline,

    This brief note is to confirm the content of our phone conversation today in which I informed you that after careful consideration the City has authorized the addition of inscriptions on smaller markers at the Holocaust Memorial submitted by Rick Landman to you, which honor five groups targeted for persecution and extermination during the Nazi regime: Homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Disabled, Political Prisoners (Asocials) and Gypsies, Roma and Sinti. Please initiate in cooperation with Rich Landman the standard procedures for implementing such texts, and submit to us as soon as possible the layout and designated stones for these markers (we are prepared to have an on-site review to select the stones if necessary). The texts will be subject to a final review for editing prior to engraving.

    Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    Jonathan Kuhn
    Director, Art & Antiquities
    City of New York/Parks & Recreation


    This is the text that needs to have its final approval before inscription... It has been reviewed by staff at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the NYC agencies; and is being finalized.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY
    AFTER THE NAZIS SEIZED POWER IN 1933, THE PERSECUTION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY DRAMATICALLY INTENSIFIED IN GERMANY. ON MAY 6, 1933, DR. MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD’S INSTITUTE OF SEXUAL RESEARCH WAS VANDALIZED AND ITS LIBRARY AND PHOTO COLLECTION WERE BURNED.

    BY 1935 THE LAW THAT CRIMINALIZED HOMOSEXUAL ACTS (PENAL CODE PARAGRAPH 175, PASSED IN 1871) WAS EXPANDED. IN 1936 S.S. CHIEF HEINRICH HIMMLER ESCALATED THE PERSECUTION BY FORMING THE POLICE TASK FORCE TO COMBAT HOMOSEXUALITY AND ABORTION.

    AROUND 50,000 MEN WERE CONVICTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175 AND SENT TO PRISONS, PENITENTIARIES OR SANITARIUMS. SOME WERE RELEASED ONLY IN ORDER TO BE CONSCRIPTED INTO THE GERMAN ARMY. HUNDREDS, POSSIBLY THOUSANDS, OF MALE HOMOSEXUALS DIED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS. SOME WERE IDENTIFIED BY PINK TRIANGLES THEY WERE FORCED TO WEAR. THESE DEATHS WERE THE RESULT OF HARSH CONDITIONS, HARD LABOR, MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION, BEATINGS AND MURDER.

    AFTER THE WAR, WHILE MOST OTHER INMATES WERE LIBERATED AND SOME GIVEN RESTITUTION, HOMOSEXUALS CONTINUED TO BE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175 UNTIL ITS REPEAL IN 1969.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE DISABLED COMMUNITY
    FROM 1933 THROUGH THE END OF THE WAR, THE NAZIS FORCIBLY STERILIZED UP TO 400,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND MURDERED APPROXIMATELY 250,000 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN THEY REGARDED AS "USELESS EATERS," WITH "LIVES NOT WORTH LIVING." BEGINNING IN THE WINTER OF 1939-40, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WERE VICTIMS OF CARBON MONOXIDE GASSINGS IN TRANSPORT VEHICLES AND LATER IN CHAMBERS. INSTITUTED IN HOSPITALS, THE PROGRAM "T-4" SYSTEMATICALLY SENT ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES TO THEIR DEATHS IN GAS CHAMBERS. UNDER THE “EUTHANASIA” PROGRAMS, GERMAN DOCTORS AUTHORIZED THE MURDER OF THEIR OWN PATIENTS BY LETHAL INJECTION, OVERDOSE OF MEDICATION, AND STARVATION.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    BETWEEN 1933 AND 1945, APPROXIMATELY 3,200 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WERE SENT TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS. THEY WERE DEEMED “VOLUNTARY PRISONERS” SINCE ALTHOUGH THEY COULD OPT FOR RELEASE IF THEY AGREED TO SIGN A STATEMENT THAT THEY HAD RECANTED THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, MOST JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES IN THE CAMPS DID NOT RENOUNCE THEIR RELIGION. MANY OF THOSE WHO REMAINED FREE LOST THEIR JOBS, PENSIONS, CUSTODY OF THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS. MORE THAN ONE IN THREE DIED IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS. AT LEAST 1,900 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WERE KILLED UNDER THE NAZI REGIME.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE GYPSY, ROMA AND SINTI COMMUNITY
    IN 1938, A CENTRAL OFFICE TO “COMBAT THE GYPSY NUISANCE” WAS ESTABLISHED IN BERLIN. THE GERMAN CRIMINAL POLICE WORKED TO LOCATE AND CLASSIFY BY RACE ALL GYPSIES IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND, AFTER MARCH 1939, IN THE CZECH LANDS. THROUGHOUT NAZI-OCCUPIED EUROPE, GYPSIES WERE INTERNED AND DEPORTED TO LABOR AND DEATH CAMPS. IN AUTUMN 1941, 5,000 AUSTRIAN GYPSIES WERE DEPORTED TO THE ÙÓDÊ GHETTO. THOSE WHO SURVIVED CONDITIONS IN THE GHETTO WERE DEPORTED IN THE WINTER OF 1941-1942 TO CHEÙMNO, WHERE THEY WERE KILLED BY POISON GAS. BETWEEN 196,000 AND 220,000 ROMA WERE KILLED BY THE AUTHORITIES OF GERMANY AND ITS AXIS PARTNERS.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS AND “ASOCIALS”
    BEGINNING IN 1933, POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF THE NAZIS WERE SENT TO DACHAU AND OTHER CONCENTRATION CAMPS IN GERMANY. COMMUNISTS, SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, TRADE UNIONISTS, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND EVEN CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF THE NAZI REGIME WERE MARKED BY THE RED TRIANGLE THEY HAD TO WEAR. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHOM THE GERMANS BELIEVED WERE ENGAGING IN POLITICAL OPPOSITION TO GERMAN RULE IN OCCUPIED EUROPE WERE INCARCERATED IN THE CAMPS.

    LESBIANS, ALCOHOLICS, HOMELESS PEOPLE AND OTHERS WERE DEEMED “ASOCIALS” AND WERE FORCED TO WEAR BLACK TRIANGLES IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS. THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO FORCED MANUAL LABOR, JUSTIFIED BY THE NAZIS AS “REEDUCATION” TO INSTILL PROPER SOCIAL HABITS AND PERSONAL DISCIPLINE.


    CURRENT NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
    YOUR NABE May 14, 2009
    NY POST May 14, 2009
    Daily News June 7, 2009
    NY Post June 7, 2009
    The Catholic League June 8, 2009
    The ADVOCATE - June 8, 2009
    Nasty Catholic Website- June 9, 2009 -Click on 1 Comment for My Response
    The Jewish Daily Forward June 10, 2009
    The Jewish Week June 12, 2009
    YOUR NABE - June 19, 2009
    The Jewish Week June 20, 2009
    The Jerusalem Post July 12, 2009

    You may scroll down this site to see all of the twists and turns over the past 13 years of this struggle.

    As of May 9, 2009

    Ms. Pauline Bilus
    Holocaust Memorial Committee
    60 West End Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11235
    By Email:

    Re: Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park- Other Victims Inscriptions

    Dear Pauline,

    I am following up on Jonathan Kuhn's letter of May 6th. I am looking forward to working with you and your Committee to have the 5 markers inscribed with what happened to the Other Victims during the Nazi Era. Not only will this enhance the educational aspects of the Park, but will also be one of the places where the lives of these people will be memorialized in our City.

    The first things that we need are the specifications that were approved by the New York City Public Design Commission (former Arts Commission) as to the font and size of the characters. We will also need the exact location of 5 large markers which would be able to accommodate the approved text. (You can supply the number and location from the index map.)

    I am now reaching out to various other groups and will give one more time to have the text edited before the inscriptions are made. I am also pleased to inform you that Supreme Memorials has offered to donate their services to have all 5 Markers inscribed. I will work with the Department of Parks to explore whatever approval process will be required to be able to review the company to accept their generous offer to inscribe the stone in this city owned park.

    I look forward to inviting you and your Committee to the unveiling of the markers and hope that you will come to see that expanding the markers to include the other groups for which the Park was dedicated will only further its effectiveness.

    I can be reached by email or phone at (212) 233-7867. I am also willing to travel out in person if that will expedite matters.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Landman
    CBST - IALGCHS
    www.infotrue.com
    Copies to:
    The Offices of:
    The Speaker Congressman Nadler Congressman Weiner Comptroller Rabbi Kleinbaum (CBST) Parks Department Mayor’s Office USHMM

    disabled
    These are photos of the memorial in Germany and the gray buses used to pick up disabled people who were sent to their death. graybus

    PAST STATUS OF OUR REQUEST FOR THE INSCRIPTIONS (chronologically all the way back to 1996)


    As of May 4, 2009
    I know hear that it has left the First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harri's desk and is now at the Brooklyn division of the Community Assistance Unit. I am also pleased that a staffer at Christine Quinn's office has also stepped in to see if he can move things along. My dream is to have Mayor Bloomberg announce the approval in Gay Pride Month this June. stranger things have happened....

    As of March 2009
    I was told by the Dept. of Parks staff in February that the Parks Commissioner is thinking favorably about permitting the Other Victim Markers to be inscribed and that the First Deputy Mayor is now reviewing the proposal. I hope to hear a positive response in the next few months.

    As of June 19, 2008
    Today I learned that NOT ONE of the representatives of the so-called Blue Ribbon Advisory Council even responded. Some are no longer working for the entities that they were appointed to be on and others maybe just don't read their emails. So we are back to point one again. I started calling up the Advisory Council members to see if they are still working and why they didn't respond. But the Parks Commissioner still has the authority to approve the inscriptions. This process is quite flawed in my opinion.

    As of May 30, 2008
    I received the following email from the Parks Dept. "I have just seen the communiqué sent by the Holocaust Memorial Committee to advisory committee members. It asks committee members to respond by June 7." So I will follow up after June 8th and hope to get a positive response this year.

    As of May 3, 2008
    The text has been reviewed by the USHMM and sent to the Holocaust Memorial Committee on April 12th for their approval. A response was requested by May 6th, 2008. If an approval is not given at that time, then we will demand that it go to the Advisory Committee or a meeting be set up with Commissioner Benepe.

    As of October 2007, we have been making progress and the Park's Dept. Advisory Committee, overseeing the Holocaust Memorial Committee, is now reviewing proposed text for several markers to explain what happened to the other victims during the Nazi Era. For the first time in years, I actually feel optimistic that the Parks Dept. will finally hear our plea and respond affirmatively.


    As of April 12, 2008
    The following text has been reviewed by the staff at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and edited by the staff at the Parks Department of the City of New York. We are now waiting for an answer from the Holocaust Memorial Committee or the Advisory Committee of the Parks Department. Congressmember Anthony Weiner (whose area covers Sheepshead Bay) said that he would help us get this done at the last meeting of the Stonewall Democratic Club. Once we get the approvals from the City, we then need to start fund raising and then have an unveiling of the inscribed markers.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY
    AFTER THE NAZIS SEIZED POWER IN 1933, THE PERSECUTION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY DRAMATICALLY INTENSIFIED IN GERMANY. ON MAY 6, 1933, DR. MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD’S INSTITUTE OF SEXUAL RESEARCH WAS VANDALIZED AND ITS LIBRARY AND PHOTO COLLECTION WERE BURNED.
    BY 1935 THE LAW THAT CRIMINALIZED HOMOSEXUAL ACTS (PENAL CODE PARAGRAPH 175, PASSED IN 1871) WAS EXPANDED. IN 1936 S.S. CHIEF HEINRICH HIMMLER ESCALATED THE PERSECUTION BY FORMING THE POLICE TASK FORCE TO COMBAT HOMOSEXUALITY AND ABORTION.
    AROUND 50,000 MEN WERE CONVICTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175 AND SENT TO PRISONS, PENITENTIARIES OR SANITARIUMS. SOME WERE RELEASED ONLY IN ORDER TO BE CONSCRIPTED INTO THE GERMAN ARMY. HUNDREDS, POSSIBLY THOUSANDS, OF MALE HOMOSEXUALS DIED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS. SOME WERE IDENTIFIED BY PINK TRIANGLES THEY WERE FORCED TO WEAR. THESE DEATHS WERE THE RESULT OF HARSH CONDITIONS, HARD LABOR, MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION, BEATINGS AND MURDER.
    AFTER THE WAR, WHILE MOST OTHER INMATES WERE LIBERATED AND SOME GIVEN RESTITUTION, HOMOSEXUALS CONTINUED TO BE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED UNDER PARAGRAPH 175 UNTIL ITS REPEAL IN 1969.

    DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE DISABLED COMMUNITY
    FROM 1933 THROUGH THE END OF THE WAR, THE NAZIS FORCIBLY STERILIZED UP TO 400,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND MURDERED APPROXIMATELY 250,000 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN THEY REGARDED AS "USELESS EATERS," WITH "LIVES NOT WORTH LIVING." BEGINNING IN THE WINTER OF 1939-40, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WERE VICTIMS OF CARBON MONOXIDE GASSINGS IN TRANSPORT VEHICLES AND LATER IN CHAMBERS. INSTITUTED IN HOSPITALS, THE PROGRAM "T-4" SYSTEMATICALLY SENT ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES TO THEIR DEATHS IN GAS CHAMBERS. UNDER THE “EUTHANASIA” PROGRAMS, GERMAN DOCTORS AUTHORIZED THE MURDER OF THEIR OWN PATIENTS BY LETHAL INJECTION, OVERDOSE OF MEDICATION, AND STARVATION.

    DEDICATED TO THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    BETWEEN 1933 AND 1945, APPROXIMATELY 3,200 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WERE SENT TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS. THEY WERE DEEMED “VOLUNTARY PRISONERS” SINCE ALTHOUGH THEY COULD OPT FOR RELEASE IF THEY AGREED TO SIGN A STATEMENT THAT THEY HAD RECANTED THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, MOST JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES IN THE CAMPS DID NOT RENOUNCE THEIR RELIGION. MANY OF THOSE WHO REMAINED FREE LOST THEIR JOBS, PENSIONS, CUSTODY OF THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS. MORE THAN ONE IN THREE DIED IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS. AT LEAST 1,900 JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WERE KILLED UNDER THE NAZI REGIME.

    DEDICATED TO THE GYPSY, ROMA AND SINTI COMMUNITY
    IN 1938, A CENTRAL OFFICE TO “COMBAT THE GYPSY NUISANCE” WAS ESTABLISHED IN BERLIN. THE GERMAN CRIMINAL POLICE WORKED TO LOCATE AND CLASSIFY BY RACE ALL GYPSIES IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND, AFTER MARCH 1939, IN THE CZECH LANDS. THROUGHOUT NAZI-OCCUPIED EUROPE, GYPSIES WERE INTERNED AND DEPORTED TO LABOR AND DEATH CAMPS. IN AUTUMN 1941, 5,000 AUSTRIAN GYPSIES WERE DEPORTED TO THE £ÓD GHETTO. THOSE WHO SURVIVED CONDITIONS IN THE GHETTO WERE DEPORTED IN THE WINTER OF 1941-1942 TO CHE£MNO, WHERE THEY WERE KILLED BY POISON GAS. BETWEEN 196,000 AND 220,000 ROMA WERE KILLED BY THE AUTHORITIES OF GERMANY AND ITS AXIS PARTNERS.

    DEDICATED TO THE POLITICAL PRISONERS AND “ASOCIALS”
    BEGINNING IN 1933, POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF THE NAZIS WERE SENT TO DACHAU AND OTHER CONCENTRATION CAMPS IN GERMANY. COMMUNISTS, SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, TRADE UNIONISTS, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND EVEN CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF THE NAZI REGIME WERE MARKED BY THE RED TRIANGLE THEY HAD TO WEAR. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHOM THE GERMANS BELIEVED WERE ENGAGING IN POLITICAL OPPOSITION TO GERMAN RULE IN OCCUPIED EUROPE WERE INCARCERATED IN THE CAMPS.

    LESBIANS, ALCOHOLICS, HOMELESS PEOPLE AND OTHERS WERE DEEMED “ASOCIALS” AND WERE FORCED TO WEAR BLACK TRIANGLES IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS. THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO FORCED MANUAL LABOR, JUSTIFIED BY THE NAZIS AS “REEDUCATION” TO INSTILL PROPER SOCIAL HABITS AND PERSONAL DISCIPLINE.




    This is the letter that I sent last year. With the assistance of the Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, we were once again attempting to get the Holocaust Memorial Committee to accept our request to inscribe the markers. The Committee refused again to our request.

    As of June 23, 2006




    AS of December 20, 2004

    Adrian Benepe, Commissioner
    The NYC Parks Department
    The Arsenal - Central Park
    New York, NY 10021

    Re: Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park – Inscriptions of Other Victims Markers

    Dear Commissioner Benepe,

    Thank you for your response to my letter of September 27, 2004 to the Mayor regarding the missing inscriptions on the markers that were originally designed and approved by the NYC Art Commission for the “other victims” of the Holocaust in 1996.

    After speaking with Jonathan Kuhn last year, I am now pleased to hear that an agreement was finally reached on whose individual name can be inscribed as part of the Memorial. As an aside, when I paid $540 for the names of my relatives to be inscribed on markers, there seemed to be no confusion. The form actually asked about the relationship of the deceased to the Holocaust. I was under the impression that all of the other individual names on the markers died during 1933-1945 due to the Nazis. I am glad that they have finally put that other issue to rest.

    But that is not what we have been requesting for over the past 9 years. If you ask George Vellonakis on your staff, I am sure he can verify that the original design was quite inclusive. It had ten markers devoted to educate the public of what happened to the other victims as well as being a memorial to their lives. You are correct that the NYC Arts Commission approved these markers in 1996, but they were never inscribed. Once it was known that one marker would explain what happened to the homosexual community during the Nazi era, all ten markers were placed in limbo.

    Yes, the main sculptural element includes a dedication to all of the victims of the Holocaust. That is why it is so ironic that the educational and memorial aspects for the other victims have been intentionally ignored. The empty markers actually speak louder to a lack of dignity and respect of these victims than the dedication purports to do.

    May I ask who is going to be on the advisory committee to represent the other victims? Over the past 10 years there has been much scholarly research done on what happened to the other victims and most is now available on the internet from the U. S. Memorial Holocaust Museum. I am not sure where the debate or controversy even lies in 2005? Even Germany is now building a Memorial in Berlin devoted to what happened to the homosexual community and there are others that are devoted to what the Nazis did to the disabled community as well.

    We have waited patiently for almost 9 years to have the stories told and the memories of those murdered victims recognized. I really don’t see the need to delay this for another year. So please let us know who is on this advisory committee and when they are meeting. Maybe we can be of assistance? There seems to be a pattern of receiving letters like yours right before election years. The last time I met with Mr. Bielsky was in the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office around his election time.

    I would like to thank all your staff who have been working so hard on this project over the years and hope that we can finally end this injustice.

    Sincerely,

    Rick Landman

    Cc: M. Sapolin, Mayor’s Office


    September 27, 2004

    Mayor Bloomberg
    City Hall
    New York, NY 10007
    Re: Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park

    Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

    On behalf of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors, as well as numerous other LGBT, Jewish and Organizations representing People With Disabilities, we are asking if any progress has been made during the last year regarding the situation described below. Last year we were told that a “Blue Ribbon Committee” was going to be formed to look into this situation and we have not heard anything since that time.

    While we wholeheartedly support the creation of a fitting memorial in the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park, we respectfully request that the Parks Department complete the Memorial as it was originally conceived and, thereby, install markers honoring ALL of the victims of Nazi persecution. For almost a decade we have attempted to persuade the Borough President and Memorial committee to install all of the markers, but to no avail. Once again, we now ask for your help and intervention in this city-sponsored project.

    As approved by the New York City Commission on the Arts, hundreds of markers have already been installed with the names of those who perished and historical facts addressing the terrible plight of the Jewish community at the hands of the Nazis. As is now well-understood and accepted, the Nazis also viciously targeted many groups, including Jews, children, the disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, political prisoners, criminals, Communists (including Soviet prisoners of war), and Freemasons, among others.

    Unfortunately, the ten originally approved markers with text describing the persecution of other groups of people targeted by the Nazis have never been inscribed. As a result, the historical accuracy and educational importance and usefulness of the Memorial is appreciably diminished. Indeed, the absence of inscriptions on these markers mocks the entire Memorial, especially in light of the dedication plaque in the center of the park.

    Ironically, the main element of the Memorial Park states that it is dedicated "To the five million other innocent human beings who were also murdered under the German rule during World War II." Even the Holocaust Memorial Committee's brochure states: "As New York's first public memorial to the Holocaust, this unique Memorial will stand for all time as a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost and the rich culture destroyed. An eternal light will shine in lasting memory of those who perished and as a beacon of hope for the future. A field of granite markers, inscribed with places and important historical events related to the Holocaust, will educate and inspire future generations to remember."

    Many of these "important historical events" have been ignored by the Committee for years. We believe that the text on the 10 markers will give the public a deeper historical understanding of the Holocaust and will serve as tangible reminders of ALL who died. It will literally be one of the few places in the world where the lives of murdered disabled people, homosexuals, gypsies, and others will even be memorialized.

    We believe that this city-owned and -funded park should tell the entire story and not ignore segments of our City's citizenry.

    We urge you to correct this injustice and require the Parks Department to include text on individual markers consistent with original and approved plans for the memorial.

    We look forward to your response and hope that this injustice can be rectified soon.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Landman

    Co-chair

    IALGCHS

    Cc: Mathew Sapolin (Mayor’s Office - People With Disabilities)


    June 2004
    During the summer of 2003, the Mayor's Office for Disabled Persons has taken an interest in seeing that the marker for the Disabled is inscribed and they are taking an inclusive approach that all victim groups should be inscribed. They have met with the Parks Department (who really has the power to just fix this problem unilaterally)and the Parks Department is setting up a panel to review the inscription situation at the Park.
    If nothing happens by year's end, then we will use the petition below and ask our City Council for assistance.
    If you or your group agrees with the following statement, please email me your endorsement at info@infotrue.com.

    While we wholeheartedly support the creation of a fitting memorial in the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park, we respectfully request that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Gifford Miller instruct the memorial committee to complete the Memorial as it was originally conceived and, thereby, install markers honoring ALL of the victims of Nazi persecution. For several years we have attempted to persuade the Memorial committee to complete and install all of the markers, but to no avail. We now ask for your help and intervention in this city-sponsored project.

    As approved by the New York City Commission on the Arts, hundreds of markers have already been installed with the names of those who perished and historical facts addressing the terrible plight of the Jewish community at the hands of the Nazis. As is now well-understood and accepted, the Nazis also viciously targeted many groups, including Jews, children, the disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, political prisoners, criminals, Communists (including Soviet prisoners of war), and Freemasons, among others.

    Unfortunately, the ten originally approved markers with text describing the persecution of other groups of people targeted by the Nazis have never been inscribed. As a result, the historical accuracy and educational importance and usefulness of the Memorial is appreciably diminished. Indeed, the absence of inscriptions on these markers mocks the entire Memorial, especially in light of the dedication plaque in the center of the park.

    Ironically, the main element of the Memorial Park states that it is dedicated "To the five million other innocent human beings who were also murdered under the German rule during World War II." Even the Holocaust Memorial Committee's brochure states: "As New York's first public memorial to the Holocaust, this unique Memorial will stand for all time as a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost and the rich culture destroyed. An eternal light will shine in lasting memory of those who perished and as a beacon of hope for the future. A field of granite markers, inscribed with places and important historical events related to the Holocaust, will educate and inspire future generations to remember."

    Many of these "important historical events" have been ignored by the Committee for years. In response to our requests, the Committee has noted that the main sculpture includes some text concerning the other groups targeted by the Nazis. We believe, however, that the text on the 10 markers will give the public a deeper historical understanding of the Holocaust and will serve as tangible reminders of ALL who died. It will literally be one of the few places in the world where the lives of murdered disabled people, homosexuals, gypsies, and others will even be mentioned.

    We believe that this city-owned and -funded park should tell the entire story and not ignore the history of many of our City's citizenry.

    We urge the Mayor and City Council Speaker to correct this injustice and require the Memorial Committee to include text on individual markers consistent with original and approved plans for the memorial.


    Nadler
    Congressman Nadler is listed as a member of the Board of Directors of the local community group that prevented the inscription of the markers. He has written to them a strong letter asking them to reconsider their decisions and support the inscriptions.
    January 23, 2003
    STATEMENT HANDED OUT AT THE MEETING WITH THE BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT
    After trying for several years, we are very pleased to be invited to attend this meeting at the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. We hope that we can come to a mutually agreed upon resolution for this issue.

    In essence, we applaud all the work and effort that went into designing and maintaining the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park, but we feel that the City erred in not completing the Memorial as originally designed.

    Can you imagine going to an exhibit and reading the dedication plaque that states that it is dedicated to certain people, only to find that the dedicated people are missing from the exhibit? That is how we feel about seeing this Memorial dedicated to all of the victims of the Nazi era and then seeing that the ten markers devoted to telling their part of history were never inscribed.

    We believe that in order to educate people to what happened and to dispel myths on both sides, that the Memorial should include inscribed histories for all of the 10 other groups that the Nazis persecuted. One gets a fuller sense of the extent of the Holocaust when one learns the entire history of the era.

    In addition, the Memorial is to respect and memorialize the lives of the other victims. This way more visitors can remember the lives of the disabled, homosexual, Yehovah witnesses, etc. in addition to what happened to the Jewish community. We do not equate the persecution of the various groups but instead strive to encourage more research to clarify the differences. This Memorial would be the perfect place in our great City to educate the public and remember what persecution and intolerance and extermination brings.


    JewishWeek
    Jewish Week article, January 17, 2003 pg. 10: Reporting first meeting with Borough President Markowitz

    October 25, 2002

    Honorable Marty Markowitz
    Brooklyn Borough President
    209 Joralemon Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
    Re: Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park Exclusion of Markers
    Dear Borough President Markowitz,

    Last year at the Lambda Independent Democrats Endorsement Meeting, you told me that you believed that all victims of the Holocaust, including the homosexual and disabled communities deserved to be memorialized. You also requested more information about the specific proposal we were presenting. At that time I prepared the attached package and gave it to Jill Harris. After the election, I spoke with Rabbi Fingerer and Erik Paulino and it was suggested that I give you some time to get acclimated. Being that it will now be the anniversary of the election, I thought it was time to bring it back to your attention. I hope that you will take this request more seriously than your predecessor who feigned interest and acted if he had no say in this City funded project.

    The specific proposal is quite simple. We would like to see the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park be completed as it was originally designed. This City owned park (developed with City funds and designed by City staff) originally included stone markers telling the story of what happened to the other victims of the Holocaust. I have enclosed copies of the original project and articles/letters written about the past situation.

    Ironically, the main element of the Memorial even states that it is dedicated "…To the five million other innocent human beings who were also murdered under the German rule during World War II". But when it came to telling the story of what happened to these "other innocent human beings", the former Borough President refused to have the markers included in the Memorial Park.

    We would like to open a dialogue with you to see how this exclusion of history and memories can be rectified. We can either use the original text that was proposed, or can modify it. We even drafted new text based on a request of the Holocaust Memorial Committee to do so years ago.

    Over the years many groups and elected officials have agreed that the time has come to have an inclusive City Memorial at Sheepshead Bay. We would like to see this City Memorial be inclusive and historically accurate. In this manner, more people can come and learn about the entire picture of how the Nazi atrocities came into being. It could be a place of reflection for all the victimized groups and one of the few places in America where the memories of the disabled and homosexual community are respectfully revered.

    I hope that you will agree to work with us to make this dream come true. I would love to attend an unveiling where the Markers are finally inscribed. You can call me at 212 998-2365 if you would like to set up a meeting to discuss this matter. I am not sending a copy of this to the media in order to give us some time to calmly discuss the item.

    Sincerely,
    Rick Landman
    Co-chair

    Cc: Cong. Jerry Nadler - Bd. of Directors, Holocaust Memorial Committee
    Ms. Pauline Bilus - Advisory Committee, Holocaust Memorial Committee
    International Assoc. of Lesbian & Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors
    Lambda Independent Democrats - Brooklyn
    Cong. Beth Simchat Torah - Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
    The Generation After & Holocaust Survivors Association - Brooklyn
    The Disability Rights Advocate - Sid Wolinsky
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Klaus Mueller

    New Press Release:

    The New York Blade tried to confirm what happened at the LID Meeting and unfortunately only Jeannette Gadson gave a clear statement that she would support the inclusion of a stone marker, the other two candidates are requesting additional information (AGAIN!) before giving their support. They say they support it in concept, but will not make a commitment. This is similar to the story that I got from the current Borough President. As soon as another candidate makes a firm commitment I will write to the Blade and update this site. The issue will also be raised in a Mayoral Forum given by CBST and MCC before the September 11th primary.

    All 3 Democratic Candidates for Brooklyn Borough President Endorse A Plan to Memorialize the Homosexuals Who Died During the Nazi Era.

    On May 10, 2001 at a meeting of the Lambda Independent Democrats, all 3 Democratic Candidates for Brooklyn Borough President endorsed a plan to include a stone memorial marker at the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Memorial Park to remember those in the homosexual community who perished during the Nazi Era. Ken Fisher, Jeannette Gadson and Marty Markowitz all pledged to create one of the first Monuments in America clearly dedicated to telling what happened to the homosexual community during the Third Reich.

    This NYC Holocaust Memorial Park was created in Sheepshead Bay in 1995 on city owned land with city funds. Even though it is dedicated to all of the victims of the Holocaust, the current Borough President refused to discuss having one stone marker to tell this part of the GLBT history. Since 1996, the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors has been requesting that some of the hundreds of markers in the Park be devoted to remembering the lives of the other victims of the Nazi terror.

    In 1998, the Disability Rights Advocates joined in this struggle for inclusiveness by requesting a stone marker to tell the fate of the disabled during the Third Reich.

    Rick Landman, spokesperson for the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors stated, "Three members of my family members' names were already inscribed in the Memorial. I am now pleased that the lives of other victims will also be remembered. The Memorial Park can now be a place where many more New Yorkers can come to reflect on what happened during the Nazi era and memorialize the lives of all of the victims. It is my hope that eventually somewhere in this City there should be a Monument dedicated to all those who died throughout history due to their sexual orientation or gender. "

    George Vellonakis, the staff designer who prepared the initial plans for the Memorial Park states, "The original design of the Memorial included 10 markers which clearly stated why the Nazis had targeted individual groups (other victims). These markers (and their text) were originally approved by the Holocaust Memorial Committee, Borough President, Historians and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

    Sid Wolinsky of the Disability Rights Advocates, states "We too have been requesting that the Park memorialize the victimization and exploitation of the hundreds of thousands of disabled men, women, and children who perished and/or were sterilized during the Nazi era. We believe in expanding the constituency of the Memorial to include all the victims for which it was dedicated."

    The proposed draft wording for these two markers is: Marker #1


    Homosexuals were among the first groups targeted by the Nazis. As early as May 6, 1933, Dr.Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Sciences was destroyed and its contents burned in the famous Berlin bonfires. In 1935, the law against male homosexuality (Penal Code Paragraph 175) was revised to make it even easier to arrest homosexuals with the slightest of evidence. In 1936, Heinrich Himmler escalated the persecution, by forming the Committee to Combat Homosexuality and Abortion. Approximately 100,000 men were arrested for being homosexual, and were either sent to prisons, penitentiaries, concentration camps, sanitariums or released to fight in the army. Approximately 10,000 were sent to concentration camps as "Pink Triangle" prisoners, where thousands died as a res

    ult of harsh conditions, hard labor, medical experimentation, and beatings. After the war, while other inmates were liberated and given restitution, homosexuals continued to be subject to punishment under Paragraph 175 until its repeal in 1969.

    Marker #2:
    From as early as 1933 through the end of the war the Nazis forcibly sterilized 400,00 men and women with disabilities. They also murdered over 350,000 men, women and children who, because of their disabilities, were regarded as "useless eaters," and "lives not worth living." In the winter of 1939-40, people with disabilities became the victims of the first, experimental gas chamber, a method expanded for use against all people with disabilities, and later as a vehicle for the entire Holocaust. In hospitals (turned killing centers) doctors killed their own patients. The program "T-4" systematically sent adults with disabilities to their deaths via the gas chamber and lethal injection. Children's killing wards used starvation and deadly amounts of medication to eradicate the population of children with disabilities.

    For More Information:
    www.infotrue.com and click on the Sheepshead Bay Button.

    Rick Landman, (212) 998-2365. (infotrue@yahoo.com) - Spokesperson for the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors.

    George Vellonakis (212) 788-0119 (georgevellonakis@aol.com) - The city designer of the Memorial.

    Sid Wolinsky - (510) 527-5321 (general@dralegal.com) - Disability Rights Advocates

    Lambda Independent Democrats (pfleming@aicpa.org)

    This picture shows the center of the memorial and a portion of the park full of stone markers. The words on the following pictures are either on the top of the markers or on the large slab lying on the ground in front of the monument. We are asking for the ability to inscribe one of the empty stone markers.
    "Dedicated officially in June 1985 by Mayor Edward Koch, the Mall has been the site of memorial programs... During these ten years, the Holocaust Memorial Committee has campaigned to have a permanent memorial to the victims of the Shoah erected at that site. With the funding allocated by Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, this dream is now a reality!

    As New York's first public memorial to the Holocaust, this unique Memorial will stand for all time as a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost and the rich culture destroyed. An eternal light will shine in lasting memory of those who perished and as a beacon of hope for the future. A field of granite markers, inscribed with places and important historical events related to the Holocaust, will educate and inspire future generations to remember."
    This is taken from the Holocaust Memorial Committee's brochure




    This is New York City Parks Department's sign, naming the city park "Holocaust Memorial Mall".



    This is a close-up of the center of the Memorial showing the eternal light and slab.



    On the slab in front of the Monument it states, "This Memorial is dedicated... to the eternal memory of the six million Jewish men, women, and children methodically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust;
    To the five million other innocent human beings who were also murdered under the German rule during World War II;
    To the heroes of the ghettos and the Jewish armed resistance;
    To the partisans and Allied Soldiers who fought for freedom;
    To those who survived the horrors and degradation of the Nazis;
    To the few righteous among the nations who risked their lives to shield those targeted for death;
    And to all those who wage battle for freedom and human dignity.
    Humanity must learn, understand, and remember so that will never happen again. REMEMBER!

    You would think that they would be cooperative since the park is dedicated to the other vicims too!



    Further down the slab it states,"As the Nazi tyranny under Adolf Hitler spread across Europe from 1933 to 1945, millions of innocent non-Jewish people were persecuted and murdered. As well caught up in the Nazi slaughter were more than 200,000 Gypsies (Roma and Sinti) and about 200,000 mentally or physically disabled persons. More than three million Soviet Prisoners of War were killed because of their nationality. Poles as well as other Slavs were tarageted for slave labor and as a result tens of thousands perished. Homosexuals and others deemed "anti-social" were persecuted and often murdered in addition thousands of political and religious dissidents such as communists, socialists, trade unionists, and Jehovah's Witnesses, were persecuted for their beliefs and behavior. Many of these individuals died as a result of maltreatment."We are appreciative that the main slab does mention the other victims, but we want one stone marker to be a physical place where people can go to learn more about what happened and to be able to remember those other victims who died.



    ALL WE ARE ASKING IS ONE STONE TO TELL WHAT HAPPENED AND TO SERVE AS A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO REMEMBER THOSE HOMOSEXUALS WHO DIED! Unfortunately, Borough President Howard Golden has refused to even consider it.

    In April 1999, I presented the following draft text and proposed that two new markers be added to the park. It was our hope that the Sheepshead Bay Holocaust Committee would have agreed to include the markers to tell the story of what happened to some of the other Victims of Nazism. It should be noted that the Memorial is on City land and was paid for by City taxpayers, and was dedicated to all of the victims of the Holocaust. To my disappoint the Borough President and the Committee decided in August, not to agree to the concept of adding the following two markers. Here is the proposed wording that was suggested for first marker.

    Sheepshead Bay
    NAZI PERSECUTION OF THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY

    Homosexuals were among the first groups targeted by the Nazis. As early as May 6, 1933, Dr.Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Sciences was destroyed and its contents burned in the famous Berlin bonfires.

    In 1935, the law against male homosexuality (Penal Code Paragraph 175) was revised to make it even easier to arrest homosexuals with the slightest of evidence. In 1936, Heinrich Himmler escalated the persecution, by forming the Committee to Combat Homosexuality and Abortion.

    Approximately 100,000 men were arrested for being homosexual, and were either sent to prisons, penitentiaries, concentration camps, sanitariums or released to fight in the army. Approximately 10,000 were sent to concentration camps as "Pink Triangle" prisoners, where thousands died as a result of harsh conditions, hard labor, medical experimentation, beatings and point-blank murder.

    After the war, while other inmates were liberated and given restitution, homosexuals continued to be subject to punishment under Paragraph 175 until its repeal in 1969.


    Click Here to see other Memorials to the Homosexual Persecution During the Holocaust
    LA Times


    The following are the words which we proposed to be inscribe on another marker in the Memorial Park.

    Sheepshead BayNAZI PERSECUTION OF THE DISABLED

    From as early as 1933 through the end of the war the Nazis forcibly sterilized 400,00 men and women with disabilities. They also murdered over 350,000 men, women and children who, because of their disabilities, were regarded as "useless eaters," and "lives not worth living."

    In the winter of 1939-40, people with disabilities became the victims of the first, experimental gas chamber, a method expanded for use against all people with disabilities, and later as a vehicle for the entire Holocaust.

    In hospitals (turned killing centers) doctors killed their own patients. The program "T-4" systematically sent adults with disabilities to their deaths via the gas chamber and lethal injection. Children's killing wards used starvation and deadly amounts of medication to eradicate the population of children with disabilities.


    UPDATE ON STATUS OF ADDING A MARKER FOR THE DISABLED AND HOMOSEXUALS KILLED DURING THE HOLOCAUST

    In August I contact the Office of the Borough President of Brooklyn, (Howard Golden's Office) and spoke with his liasion for the Lesbian and Gay Community and I explained the sitution. To my disappointment the liasion informed me that the Borough President did not wish to get involved. So I went to the Office of the Comptroller (Alan G. Hevesi) and upon his liasion informing him of the situation, I was called immediately that Comptroller Hevesi would intervened on our behalf. We are now told the Borough President Howard Golden of Brooklyn is opposed to the placement of any markers representing what happened to the disabled or homosexuals during the Nazi Era. We are still trying to convince the Borough President that his views are discriminatory and not in keeping with the lessons of the Holocaust. I hope that we will be able to erect the two markers without having to seek any other legal remedies.
    Years ago, the following article appeared in the Sunday New York Times. Even though we sent several letters supporting the idea of markers for other victims, we never received any responses. It is our hope and feeling that over time, people have come to realize that to truly understand the impact of the Holocaust, one must remember all of what happened. This struggle will continue.
    times
    A Rift Opens Over 'Other Victims' at Holocaust Memorial

    By SOMINI SENGUPTA
    Published: August 18, 1996

    Correction Appended

    A city-funded Holocaust memorial under construction in Sheepshead Bay has become the focus of a debate about how to note the various groups who fell victim to the Nazis.

    The Parks Department architect who designed the memorial -- a 14 1/2-foot steel tower surrounded by about 40 granite tablets resembling tombstones -- proposed adding 10 tablets as symbolic markers representing groups the Nazis persecuted, including homosexuals, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses and Jews.

    But the committee of citizens sponsoring the tower in Holocaust Memorial Park at Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard and the Brooklyn Borough President, Howard Golden, who poured nearly $700,000 into the project, have rejected the proposal, saying that the fate of each group is in the narrative inscribed at the base of the tower. It is estimated that, in addition to the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, about 5 million non-Jews, including disabled people, German homosexuals, Gypsies and Poles, were also killed.

    ''We felt it was redundant and did not have to be included because it was in the summary,'' said Ira Bilus of Manhattan Beach, a committee member.

    Besides, Mr. Bilus said, the architect, George Vellonakis, was not responsible for content. ''He was commissioned to do the architecture and the design,'' he said. ''We were commissioned to do the writing.''

    Mr. Vellonakis has continued to press for separate recognition of other groups. ''I really felt it was my responsibility to recognize every group and represent history properly,'' he said. ''As the artist and designer, it's my concept.''

    His boss, Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern, disagreed. ''This is a group of people who are mostly Jewish, Holocaust survivors, and they wanted to call attention, to memorialize the tragedy their people had suffered,'' he said.

    Construction of the memorial began in 1994, Mr. Vellonakis said, but was held up by debate over its content. The city Art Commission gave final approval to the project last spring, and construction is scheduled to be completed by early next year, according to Mr. Bilus, whose group is gathering names to be inscribed on the memorial.

    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, who heads Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, a largely lesbian and gay synagogue in Greenwich Village, said she favored the separate markers. ''I would support acknowledging these other victim groups,'' said Rabbi Kleinbaum, who sits on the advisory committee to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. ''I don't think it takes away from or diminishes the enormity of the tragedy that the Jewish people suffered in the Holocaust.''

    Debates over Holocaust commemorations are not unique to the Brooklyn memorial. The museum in Washington underwent similar discussions and opted to chronologically explain how the Nazis targeted different groups but singled out Jews for annihilation, said Michael Berenbaum, who directs the museum's research institute. Mr. Berenbaum, who reviewed the text of the Sheepshead Bay memorial, declined to comment on the current dispute.

    ''Inclusion is not equivalence, not saying that their fate was equivalent,'' he said. ''All the victims of Nazism are memorialized in the museum. The distinction between their fate and the fate of the Jews, subject to annihilation, is preserved.'' SOMINI SENGUPTA

    Correction: September 1, 1996, Sunday

    An article in the Neighborhood Report pages on Aug. 18 about a Holocaust memorial under construction in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, misstated the origin of its design. Markers commemorating 11 specific groups persecuted by the Nazis were part of the original design by the architect, George P. Vellonakis, but have since been dropped. The architect did not add 10 such tablets to his original proposal.

    stone
    This is a close-up of a marker with the names of my greatgrandparents.

    stone
    My father standing by the Dachau historical marker. He was interned there after Kristallnacht.

    stone
    I am standing at the marker with my greatgrandparent's names.


    This shows one of the "historical markers" that educates the public about a certain aspect of the Holocaust. The marker on Dachau does mention that homosexuals were interned there.

    For more information or to tell them about your feelings, contact:
    The Holocaust Memorial Committee
    60 West End Avenue
    Brooklyn, New York 11235
    Telephone- (718) 743-3636

    You can pay to have the names of people inscribed who perished in the Holocaust.